WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE ANYWAY? (Continued)
Bruce Arnold, leader of Orpheus and Alley occupant
is remembered by Walter Crockett as the person he doubled with when
he went on his first date with a girl. Some recollect Arnold was
a competent, intelligent person whose slickness could be likened
to that of a stereotypical Southern Baptist Minister. His music
is not thought of in the same context as those with folk music sensibilities.
Arnold's ORPHEUS grabbed feature spots on television specials,
The Museum of Modern Art in NYC and was written up in a New York
magazine review. Arnold left Worcester for the Golden Coast where
he set up his own church, The Church of the Open Door, then later
became successful in retail businesses. He presently is reported
to have little interest in recalling the Congress Alley era.
Folk performer Jaime Brockett, originally from
Westboro, stayed at the Alley when not touring. He had a Gold with
the humorous ballad, Titanic. He alternates between touring producing
and hiding out. An important sideman to Brockett was Tony Rubino
who now has a recording studio in East Longmeadow and plays with
C&W band WILD ROSE and the PECOS RIVER BAND.
Poet Kathy Woodbury, a part of the Y-Not and Congress
Alley Scene, headed to Cape Cod and Boston after the community dissolved.
For the last twenty years she has lived in Barre where she brought
up four children. Her works have been published in various poetry
journals. NAKED UNDER THE FLAG is her latest compilation of poetics.
Politics characterize the focus of her material.
Walter and Marie Green have been together since
the Congress Alley days. They've brought up four children and
still live in Worcester. Walter worked twenty years in foundries
with approximately eleven of them as president of his union. He
is currently expecting to graduate this spring from Clark University
with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy.
Manasha Bilsey, although not a denizen of the Alley,
edited the news alternative PUNCH. Members of the community respect
him for acting as a conduit for political and social information
of interest to the local counter-culturalists. He has defined himself
in recent interviews as "reconstructed". He previously
ran Book People and still offers readers alternatives at his Webster
Square establishment, Another Story Book Store.
Norman Shell managed the Y-Not, lived at the Alley
from the beginning. He formed the still popular country rock band
CLEAN LIVING. Twenty years after breaking up they are able to command
audiences of Five to Seven Hundred people at reunions. Former Worcesterite
Eliot Sherman, is usually featured on piano. Sherman now operates
an antique business in Amherst. Norman lives in the Berkshires
with his family where he works as a sales and marketing specialist.
He is an active member of his church and will play music anytime
Marcia (Sadowski) Chevian-Hooper lit up the Alley
with Worcester’s first all girl rock band, The Broad Explosion
a.k.a. The Peppermint Conspiracy. She was a personal friend of
Jimi Hendrix and Robert Wyatt, underground legend and Founding member
of The Soft Machine. Marci followed Hendrix’s advice and
chased her Muse. She played and sat in with Muddy Waters, Pinetop
Perkins, Chuck Berry, Taj Mahal, Luther Guitar Johnson, Bo Diddley,
among others, garnering all she could to fine-tune her musical ability.
Ms. Marci can be heard all over the New England area playing bass
and singing lead vocals with her band, Ms. Marci and the Bar Chords.
Frank "Pasquale" Caricchio, an inner-city
kid, didn't have far to go when he found himself at the Y-Not
then at Congress Alley. Steve Martin described Pasquale as a Romantic
Idealist which was evident in his writings at the time and is most
evident today. Besides being a writer, he worked in human services
from 63 to 91 and later as a metal worker. Today he is a self described
"slave to the two wheel iron horse".
Howard Johnson, who hung around the Alley as a
kid is now working in the hi-tech industry. He is nationally known
in the art world as a visual artist. Initially shunned by local
critics, his work commands high prices at galleries in Boston, New
York and from European collectors. The DeCordova Musem and MFA
display his works.
Francis ‘Woody’ Wodbridge Jr., heir
to the Baker’s Chocolate family business, graduated from Clark
University where he was involved in radical politics and gravitated
to the folk scene at The Y-Not Coffee House. Woody joined in with
the Alley community where he became known for his poetry. Some of
the poetry was put to music by songwriter Steve Martin. Woody has
once again relocated to Worcester where he is a regular at spoken
word venues. Woody’s courage and determination in the face
of personal hardships has made him a source of inspiration to this
nationally recognized poetry community.
Al McGinnis came from the service to Congress Alley
then back to the Navy in 72. As a special investigator with the
military police he was personal bodyguard to Ethiopia's Hali
Salasi. He later guarded George Bush and John Glenn. He currently
is Chief of Security for Notre Dame College in Manchester, NH.
He loves Congress Alley and its people.
Gitch, a.k.a. Michael Jackman, was the astrologer
in residence for the Alley and PUNCH. His writings have appeared
in WORCESTER MAGAZINE, gay publications in Boston and down South.
He is best known as a polylinguist who has taught languages at the
secondary school level. His current interest in Syrian Orthodox
Christianity has led him to the sacred language, Aramaic. His lifestyle
is one of simple elegance.
Visit Howard Johnson at www.splusnet.com/~johnson
Visit Ms. Marci at www.bignoisenow.com/chevian.html